On June 3, in three locations within the Municipality of Kincardine, a small group of Pride supporters raised the Pride and Transgender flags, in honour of Pride month.
At the flagpole in front of the Kincardine library on Queen Street, Fort Papalia, president of Kincardine Pride, Dave Trumble, a member of the Pride committee and vice president of the Grey Bruce Labour Council, Michaela Posthumus, lead branch supervisor and Lorie Fioze, manager of strategic initiatives for the Municipality, made a brief speech before Ashley Richards, director of the Kincardine chamber, raised the flag.
“My name is Ashley Richards, and I am the executive director of the Kincardine and District Chamber of Commerce,” said Richards. “Growing up a queer kid in Kincardine was difficult. As an adult, I am happy to see that things are changing, as evidenced by where we stand today, thanks to the hard work and dedication of Fort Papalia and Kincardine Pride. The Kincardine & District Chamber of Commerce mandate is to work to improve the economic, civil and social well-being of our community, while honouring the diversity and inclusion of all people. And for me, working in the town I grew up in, for a nonprofit with that at the core of its values, is very important to me.”
“If I had to use one word to describe why I am here today, that word would be representation. Representation matters,” Richards continued. “This act of flag raising would have meant the world to me as a youth growing up here in Kincardine, and it means an incredible amount for me to be here today as an adult. Even if this gesture is not meaningful to you as a person, please know how deeply meaningful it is to many. It is an honour to be here today, and with pride I raise this flag.”
Flag raising ceremonies were also held at the Davidson Centre and in Tiverton. All flags were then lowered to half mast, to mark the finding of the bodies of 215 children buried on the grounds of a former residential school in Kamloops, BC.
“Pride month is a celebration of love and all about “love is love and loving who you love,” said Trumble. “This is about triumphing over the hate that still harms people. Recognizing the sorrow and tragedy of residential schools must not be forgotten, Pride month or not. The Grey Bruce Labour Council stands side by side with Kincardine Pride as allies and friends of Pride and our Indigenous peoples as we open our hearts to sorrow and celebration all in one breath. Kincardine is a place where we will never again see a time without a celebration of Pride.”
This is the fourth year for the flag raising, and the second year in a row Kincardine’s Pride parade was cancelled due to pandemic restrictions. The organization hopes to host a smaller event later this year, restrictions allowing, but in the meantime have maintained a strong social media presence. Beginning June 10, KP is hosting a three-part webinar series called ‘Out’ in the Country, which explores what it is like to be LGBTQ2 in rural Ontario. Presenter AJ Adams, a former Kincardine resident, will narrate. More information is available on the Facebook page, Kincardine Pride.
NPX Innovation has challenged the community to create a rainbow and submit a photo of their creation by the end of June. Submissions will be eligible to win a prize. www.npxinnovation.ca/pride.
Rainbow and transgender face masks are currently available for a donation at the Kincardine Independent office at 840 Queen Street, on Wednesdays and Thursdays between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Tammy Lindsay Schneider, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Kincardine Independent